Ski Area Management Magazine: Opening in Uncertain Times
In late April 2020, John Ashworth of Bull Stockwell Allen, Regina Connell of Collaboratory Studio at BSA, and Claire Humber of SE Group were invited by Ski Area Management magazine (SAM) to bring together a group of mountain resort GMs to talk about opening while the world remains in flux.
This group included:
Barb Green, Blue Mountain PA
Jay Scambio, Loon Mountain, NH
David Corbin, Aspen Snowmass
Steve Wright, Jay Peak, VT
David Norden, Taos Ski Valley, NM
Frank Deberry, Crystal Mountain, WA
The conversation ranged from timed ticketed entry; alternatives to indoor gathering; the impact on the overall brand experience; how to make the most of the new interest in sanitation; and managing a pent-up demand for recreation and the outdoors.
Here were some of our takeaways:
Watch and learn. We have some solid hypotheses about what the near-term future will be. We can start working from those.
Take the guest’s perspective. You’ve been through the same thing they’ve been through, so look at the entire guest experience through your eyes and make improvements accordingly. Think about this as a great brand and loyalty-building opportunity.
Build in flexibility and adaptation into everything you do. You will not get this right off the bat, but keep a learning and growth mindset as you go through this. Follow the new rules, but do it your own way, with flair and authenticity.
Experiment. Try things that you’ve been afraid to try. Fix the things you’ve always wanted to fix. Remember that guests are expecting change: their worlds have changed, too. So be bold, be brave.
Image courtesy of SAM Magazine.